Pence Vetoes Private College Police Records Bill

Mar 24, 2016

Pence disagreed with a South Bend lawmaker about whether the bill would institute more transparency. The lawmaker says the legislation is unconnected to a lawsuit between ESPN and the University of Notre Dame.
Credit Karin Beil / https://www.flickr.com/photos/kbeil/6807532616

Governor Mike Pence Thursday vetoed a bill aimed at requiring more transparency from private university police departments, but which Pence says does the opposite.

The bill would have declared private university police departments public agencies, but at the same time would only require them to disclose records about people they arrest or put in jail.

Governor Pence said in a statement that limiting access to private university police records is a disservice to the public, so he vetoed the bill.

Rep. Pat Bauer (D-South Bend) authored the legislation and said in a statement it would have created greater transparency while eliminating unnecessary paperwork in instances of minor accidents that result in no injuries.

Bauer says the bill has nothing to do with an ongoing lawsuit between ESPN and the University of Notre Dame.

ESPN is suing the university for access to police records involving student athletes.

The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled earlier this month Notre Dame’s police department is a public agency and should have to comply with records requests.  It’s a ruling the university plans to appeal to the state Supreme Court.

Pence says the bill would impose more limits on transparency than the court ruling.